Concrete and biophilic design
Biophilic design is a concept related to occupant connection to nature and the processes of the natural environment, to improve health and wellbeing. Interest in this area has grown in recent years, especially for interior design. Biophilic design is part of the scoring available in the Well Standard but its principles are indirectly including in other health and wellbeing assessments.
The impact of biophilic design on material selection can be grouped in a few ways - the use of naturally occurring materials; use of shapes and pattern inspired by nature; and avoiding the feel or sense of artificial material through for example - smell, sense of enclosure, sound and permanence.
Concrete comprises mostly of natural material: rocks and sand, which, using various finishing techniques can be part of the surface texture. Architectural precast is often referred to as Recon - and offers a cost effective, high quality alternative to stone. There are many recent examples of concrete structures, facades, and interiors inspired by natural rock and earth formations, including rammed concrete.
As well as revealing the natural aggregate on the surface of the concrete, concrete can be supplied in a range of colours through additional of pigments in the mix, often in earthy tones, the natural chaotic tonal pattern of the surface enhanced by the colour.
Concrete can also be cast against surfaces to create natural, appealing and durable textures such as timber boards, fossilised stone, or even plant forms. Fundamentally it can also be created in curves, and sinuous forms.
For guidance on designing visual concrete visit our the see related pages.